This week the notes have been provided by Mark Miller. The passage can be read here.
I’m The Greatest, No I’m The Greatest, No I’m The…..
Despite seeing Jesus transformed before their own eyes on top of a mountain and witnessing an evil spirit thrown out of a boy at the bottom of the mountain, the disciples still aspired to lofty positions they wanted to hold in Jesus’ new ‘kingdom’.
They were arguing on the road back to Capernaum as to which one of them would be the greatest. This probably started out as just thoughts and might have just been ‘bloke banter’ and leg pulling but the disciples thoughts did evolve into an exchange of proud words that showed a real desire to have a position of authority.
Jesus did not say a word throughout this discussion; he just let the disciples talk. Only when they got to the house (Mark 9:33) did Jesus bring up their conversation and challenge them about it.
Whilst on a different road journey to the town of Emmaus the Lord was with two people discussing the events concerning his death and resurrection. On this occasion Jesus does talk. He talks to the point that their hearts burnt within them (24:32 – “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road”)
Like the discussion amongst the disciples Jesus knew when to just listen and also when to engage in conversation. Using Jesus as our example we to should apply this in our witnessing for him. A lot can be said with a silence. We need to learn when to sit back, listen and observe. We all need his help in choosing our response and time of reply wisely. Like the road to Emmaus we should also learn when to partake, when to defend our faith, when to step in and give a reasoned Christian response to a conversation.
Shouldn’t that all be our aim? – to have conversations with others about the Lord that makes the listeners heart ‘burn within’!
Whilst in the house the Lord uses a small humble child to help make his point about greatness (v47). It’s interesting to see the Lord have stand next to him the smallest person in the room. The child that was stood alongside the Lord was then lifted up (Mark 9:36) and this brilliantly illustrates the Lords point!
The child is an example of a humble Christian. The faith of a Christian requires an attitude of love. ‘To receive this child in my name’ means that you are to show a compassionate and unpretentious display of care to a fellow lowly Christian. By displaying such grace and love you are in effect accepting the Lord and his Father.
By lowering yourself on earth to help another you will be lifted up in heaven. That is an example of being the greatest.
The challenge for us is to guard against an unloving attitude towards ‘the least amongst us’